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Reviews Written by
Mark "Markus" (Hanover, IN, United States)
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Speak
Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Edition: Audio Cassette
10 used & new from CDN$ 3.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb performance of a wonderful book., June 19 2003
This review is from: Speak (Audio Cassette)
I'm an adult reader who happened onto this audio book at the library. I liked the cover design and saw that it was a finalist for the National Book Award. I started listening, and could not stop. It is riveting. Siegfried's performance of this first-person narrative is so real. I feel as if the character has told me the story herself, just to me. It's a rewarding read about being 13 for anyone of that age or older (content includes a rape, and the girl's slow recovery of her power). Beautifully written--moving, funny, so true-to-life. Economical and elegant. A fine example of good first person narrative. This recording will make any long drive fly by, and--if you arrive before the story's over--you won't want to get out of the car.

Book Of Daniel
Book Of Daniel
by E L Doctorow
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, deep and complex, May 16 2003
This review is from: Book Of Daniel (Paperback)
Doctorow imagines fictional lives for children of a couple very like the Rosenbergs and so weaves a complex and engrossing tale, rich with character and ideas, leaving one exhausted, moved, enlightened. I could hardly put the book down, so engaging is the story and so intellectually stunning are his innovations in narrative form. This is a fine modern novel, dense, satisfying both emotionally and intellectually, driven by serious ideas, rivaling Dostoyevsky and Zola in its transformation of history into compelling moral fiction.

Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
116 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars High on Action, Weak on Plot, May 16 2003
Hamilton's Anita Blake series began here, and perhaps certain crudities of plot and narration can be excused by Hamilton's inexperience at the time. She is quite skillful at creating surprising, suspenseful, often violent and even disgusting action scenes. The book is never boring. The weaknesses here are that the action scenes do not seem connected by a plausible storyline and that the first-person narrator (Blake) tells us her thoughts far, far too much. The narrative approach is something of a blend of Sam Spade and Kinsey Milhone, and Hamilton would do better to stick with the Spade. I found myself longing to take a blue pencil to the page, marking out the constant inner commentary and explanations and leaving just the action and dailogue. If the character provides her own inner reaction to every action and line of dialogue, the book leaves nothing for the reader to do. There is nowhere to enter into the story oneself. The plausibility issue has to do with Hamilton's lengthy set-up for the main action. It takes 100 pages, nearly half the book, for Blake to actually begin her investigation. Moreover, considering the amazing powers that vampires enjoy in Hamilton's world, it is just not believable that they would go to such lengths to employ a mere human investigator like Blake to track down a vampire killer. The whole idea, based on Hamilton's own premises, is implausible. The plot seems a manipulated, flimsy structure that exists at the author's whim for the purpose of stringing together (rather good) action scenes. In sum: an enjoyable read, if sometimes frustrating in its execution. One senses that it falls short of its potential and would have benefited from stronger editorial advice.

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